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The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a favorable environmental assessment (EA) for the proposed ETC Tiger Pipeline that would provide takeaway capacity from the increasingly constrained Carthage Hub in East Texas and the Haynesville Shale play to markets in the Midwest, Northeast and Southeast. ETC Tiger Pipeline Co. LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners LP, proposes to build a 175-mile, 42-inch diameter pipeline that would extend from an interconnection with Houston Pipe Line (an intrastate) in Panola County, TX, and follow in an easterly direction to the Perryville Hub in Richland Parish, LA. The pipeline would have the capacity to transport up to 2 Bcf/d of natural gas from East Texas and Northwest Louisiana, particularly from the Haynesville Shale, Bossier Sands and Fort Worth Basin production areas, according to ETC Tiger and the EA. The company said it expects to receive a FERC certificate in either February or March. In service is targeted for either the first or second quarter of 2011.

FERC has issued a certificate order approving Perryville Gas Storage LLC's request to construct a salt dome storage facility and associated facilities in the Crowville Salt Dome in northeast Louisiana. The proposed storage facility, which would be located 12 miles south of Delhi, LA, would provide approximately 15 Bcf of working capacity in two caverns. Commercial storage services for the first of the two caverns are expected to begin in the third quarter of 2012, according to Houston-based Perryville Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cardinal Gas Storage Partners. The storage project would have peak withdrawal of 600 MMcf/d with one cavern in service, which would climb to 1.2 Bcf/d of peak deliverability when both are operating. Its initial peak injection rate would be about 226 MMcf/d, the company said. The facility would have two direct pipeline interconnections -- an 11.8-mile, 36-inch diameter interconnect with CenterPoint Energy Gas Transmission and a 2.56-mile, 24-inch diameter interconnect with Columbia Gulf Transmission.

Houston-based Plains Exploration & Production Co. (PXP) reported that it produced 359.5 million boe in total proved reserves in 2009, a 23% increase over 2008. The producer also reported a 320% reserve replacement ratio. Full-year 2009 average sales volumes were 82,700 boe/d, which was 8% higher than in 2008, excluding the impact of divestments. In 4Q2009 PXP said its average sales volumes rose 4% to 86,400 boe/d from 3Q2009.

DCP Midstream Partners LP bought a Colorado-to-Kansas natural gas liquids (NGL) pipeline system from Buckeye Partners LP for $22 million in cash. The 350-mile pipeline originates in the Denver-Julesburg (DJ) Basin in Colorado and terminates near the Conway hub in Bushton, KS. DCP Midstream LLC (DCP Midstream), owner of the partnership's general partner, uses the pipeline as a market outlet for NGL production from plants in the DJ Basin. DCP Midstream, a Denver-based joint venture of Spectra Energy Inc. and ConocoPhillips, said it expects to spend approximately $18 million in expansion capital to connect and integrate the acquired pipeline with its facilities, with cash flow contributions commencing in early 2011. DCP Midstream and the partnership have agreed to a 10-year transportation agreement.

A new compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling center is slated for Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) to fuel 46 rental car shuttle buses at the international airport. DFW announced that it had awarded a 10-year contract to Seal Beach, CA-based Clean Energy Fuels Corp. to supply the CNG, something it already does at DFW. The final contract is in process of completion. The new Clean Energy Rental Car Center CNG station is slated to open in May, providing 24/7 fueling services to CNG vehicles operating at the airport and in surrounding communities. When the fleet is fully deployed, it is anticipated that the station will dispense more than 500,000 gallons per year.

Portland, OR-based Northwest Natural Gas Co. and its regulated local distribution company (LDC) had their credit rating dropped from double-A to single-A ("A+") by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services (S&P) because of added risk from nonutility ventures, such as the Gill Ranch underground gas storage facility in Northern California. Nevertheless, S&P described the company's outlook as "stable." S&P views the LDC as having lower financial risks than the company's planned investments in nonregulated assets, which can have construction risks, less stable cash flow generation, and/or recontracting risks, according to the ratings agency. S&P said the stable outlook reflected its "expectation that consolidated financial performance will be appropriate for the rating with funds-from-operations (FFO) to total debt of 20% to 25%, and total debt to capital of 50% to 55%."

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